Cafe Crawl Stop 3 – Hardware Société (Melbourne CBD)

This is our lunch stop.

I have really been looking forward to this visit, because I had been wanting to visit for quite a long time, however having little patience for long lines, I was always discouraged. We managed to score a table for around 8 after a reasonable 15 minutes wait and place our lunch orders in just a little before the kitchen closed for the day. Phew! Lucky 🙂

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Coffee was ordered: a couple of lattes, a couple of siphons (which I’m only starting to warm up to) and a cold drip. I didn’t order any coffee again at this stop, but I had a sip of my friend’s cold drip. I was immediately in love with it! Regret, regret not ordering it, I guess I will just have to visit again.

Cold drip served w/ sugar syrup & milk

Cold drip served w/ sugar syrup & milk

If you squint at the bottle the coffee was served in, you may be able to make out the word “POISON”. I loved that cute, cheeky touch.

Despite, it being our lunch stop, due to the previous grazing, most people at the table sensibly chose to share a dish between two and so did I.

I remember having a craving for steak that day, so this what I chose for me and my partner.

Wagyu Beef Cap - filled field mushroom of leek and bone marrow rarebit, potato and horseradish foam ($20)

Wagyu Beef Cap – filled field mushroom of leek and bone marrow rarebit, potato and horseradish foam ($20)

The beef was lovely and tender, cooked perfectly to a medium rare. Combined with the rich, sweet jus, it was textbook perfect, but what went above and beyond all that were the accompanying elements. For me they stole the star of the show, in a good way.

The Stars

The Stars

The potato and horseradish foam was creamy and light, while the horseradish gave the dish a little bit of a lift with its heat without being overpowering. What blew my mind out of this universe was the field mushroom filled with leek and bone marrow rare bits. It was creamy, earthy, moreish and packed full of umami. Pardon the cliche, but really you need to try it to believe it. I am in a food coma right now, just writing about it.

Here are what my friend’s ordered. I had a small bite of each.  All of the food were of a very high standard and at a bargain price.

Twice cooked pork belly - braised cabbage, smoked bacon, confit carrots and apple cider jus ($20)

Twice cooked pork belly – braised cabbage, smoked bacon, confit carrots and apple cider jus ($20)

The most important part – the skin must be crispy. Tick. However, the meat wasn’t as tender as I expected for a twice cooked pork belly and the flavours of this dish were a little bit bland for my tastes. So overall, I felt that this paled in comparison to all the other great dishes at the table.

Fish du jour - prawns, peas, puy lentils, sauteed kale and horseradish cream ($20)

Fish du jour – prawns, peas, puy lentils, sauteed kale and horseradish cream ($20)

This was a subtle and lightly balanced dish. I especially liked the mix of peas and lentils which matched well with the texture of the fish.

Daily Special - Lamb rump

Daily Special – Lamb rump

If I hadn’t ordered my dish, I would have ordered this one and this really did fulfill my expectations. Tender lamb sitting on top of an interesting mix of mushrooms and lentils, drenched with a hearty flavoursome jus.

I can certainly why Hardware is so popular and genuinely, I think they deserve their fame. Attentive and warm service; delicious and reasonable priced food; a light and fun dining environment and great coffee; you can’t help but to fall in love with it.

Hardware is now closed temporarily and will reopen on the 15th of Feb in the new year. I know I will be the first to go line up when they open their doors again!

The Hardware Société on Urbanspoon

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